The Accident

Publisher: Anchor Canada
The new book from the winner of the inaugural International Man Booker Prize is a modern-day love story of powerful obsession set against the background of dark political intrigue.

On the autobahn in Vienna a taxi leaves the carriageway and strikes the crash barrier, flinging its male and female passengers out of its back doors as it spins through the air. The driver cannot explain why he lost control; he only says that the mysterious couple in the back seat seemed to be about to kiss . . .

Set against the tumultuous backdrop of war and its aftermath in the Balkans, The Accident intimately documents an affair between two people caught in each other's webs. The investigation into their deaths uncovers a mutually destructive obsession that mirrors the conflicts of the region. A destabilizing mixture of vivid hallucination and cold reality, Ismail Kadare's new novel is a bold and fascinating departure.

From the Hardcover edition.



It seemed the most ordinary kind of incident. A taxi had veered off the airport autobahn at kilometre marker 17. Its two passengers were killed outright, and the driver, seriously injured, was taken to hospital unconscious.
The police recorded the usual facts in such cases: the names of the victims (a...
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“[A] forceful tale . . . Haunting . . . Lean, calm and footsure, Kadare’s writing keeps you reading . . . With a Milan Kundera-like quality . . . [The Accident] is a compelling performance.” ­
Sunday Times (UK)
“Kadare’s excursions into an eccentric style—meticulous procedural scenes bloom into the surreal, languid eroticism mingles with the banal, dreams are scrutinized as readily as actual events—provide moments both curious and brilliant.”
Publishers Weekly

“If only most thriller writers could write with Kadare’s economy and pace . . . Kadare, magician that he is, offers just enough information for his readers to make myriad interpretations. He is the beguiling and teasing of writers who understands that what may not be apparent now may well be in a distant future.”
The Sunday Herald

“An author who richly deserves the Nobel Prize.”
The Huffington Post

‘A thriller laden with reflections on the abuse of state power . . . Deftly, Kadare re-creates the shadowy atmosphere of rumor and recrimination in Albania during the dying days of communism in the late 1980s.
The Evening Standard (UK)

“[Kadare] has created Kaftaesque fables, nithmarish historical allegories, and his own very distinct mystery.”
The Guardian Review (UK)

"The Accident cannot be put aside, but richly teases the reader to try to understand what, exactly, the cab driver glimpsed in his rear-view mirror." The Independent (UK)
"A provocative exploration of the sinister underside of human relations." --The Observer (UK)

“Meticulously rendered and subtly nuanced. . . . It demands the reader’s attention as it delves deeper and deeper into a story of tortured love. . . . The Accident is as compelling as the love affair it documents.”
The Brooklyn Rail

“Linwood Barclay's best thriller to date. . . . Barclay channels the best of Harlan Coben and Lisa Gardner.”
 —San Francisco Chronicle
“Anyone who has ever suffered through a love affair or wondered about other people caught up in such torments will find [The Accident] essential reading.”
— Alan Cheuse, National Public Radio
“[Kadare] is seemingly incapable of writing a book that fails to be interesting. . . . [The Accident] starts out as one kind of book and turns into something else entirely. . . .It takes you to the sort of place novels don’t routinely visit these days, and also leaves you grateful you don’t have to dwell there.”
The New York Times
“A rich and strange examination of change. . .where opaque motivations lead to startling ramifications.”
The San Francisco Chronicle

“Ismail Kadare . . . is a skilled craftsman. . . . The structure of the book, in effect, is its meaning, a nifty literary dissolve between content and form.”
—The Globe and Mail

From the Hardcover edition.